Computer hardware

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  • Computing hardware
    • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
      • purpose of the CPU is to process data
      • FETCH: (1st step) fetch data & instructions from main memory then store them in own internal temporary memory areas
        • DECODE (2nd step): CPU has to make sense of instruction it just fetched 'decode'
          • EXECUTE (3rd step): data processing takes place
    • clock speed
      • computers can only do one thing at a time
      • the CPU clock speed is measured in cycles per second
      • the speed of the clock determines basic performance of the CPU - faster it goes, more powerful the computer
      • clock speed indicates how fast the CPU can run
    • number of cores
      • CPU xan contain one or more processing units - each unit called a core
      • CPUs with multiple cores have power to run multiple programs at the same time
    • cache
      • small amount of memory which is part of a CPU
      • used to temporarily hold instructions
      • larger the cache size, better the performance bc able to store more data locally
    • Memory
      • RAM: random access memory
        • volatile memory
        • anything stored in it will be lost as soon as power disapperars
      • ROM: read only memory
        • stores the instructions which the computer uses when it 'boots up' the BIOS
        • ROM retains data even w/out power
        • non-volatile memory
    • Input and output devices
      • input device: piece of hardware thats used to enter data into a computer
      • output deivice: piece of hardware thats used to display or output data which has been processed or stored on the computer
    • secondary storage
      • any device used to store data is known as a storage device
      • solid-state storage keeps its data without power & has no moving parts


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